Happy Father’s Day to all of the amazing dads and stepdads raising children who do things differently- who love and appreciate them for exactly who they are.

Thank you for setting a great example every day, for treating your children with respect, so your child expects that same respect from others.

Thank you for believing in your child’s capabilities, for seeing their strengths, so they grow up seeing their own and expecting others to do the same. Thank you for advocating for your child’s rights, for showing them their rights are worth advocating for. Thank you for fostering your child’s self- advocacy skills, so self-advocating becomes second nature for them.

Everything you do, makes a difference.

This quote from an NPR, “Talk of the Nation” interview with Thomas Hehir, professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and former director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, sums up just how much of a difference:

“And some of the studies that have been done around young adults with disabilities who have been highly successful, is one of the factors that predicts whether they’re going to be successful, is the attitudes of their teachers and their parents. Do they really believe and act on assumptions of capability? Or do they focus all of their efforts on the symptoms of disability and negative approaches towards disability? And there’s still far too much of that, but there are many, many, many success stories throughout the country.”

Happy, Happy Father’s Day!